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Bredesen plans major solar energy facility in West Tennessee

Post Time:May 19,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:115

Gov. Phil Bredesen today proposed the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, a comprehensive solar-energy and economic-development program that will use up to $62.5 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to advance job creation, education, research, and renewable-power production in Tennessee.

Subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Tennessee General Assembly, the proposed initiative consists of two closely related projects:· The Tennessee Solar Institute at UT and ORNL, which will focus on basic science and industry partnerships to improve the affordability and efficiency of solar products; and· The West Tennessee Solar Farm near Brownsville, a five-megawatt 20-acre power generation facility at the Haywood County industrial megasite that will be one of the largest installations in the Southeast and serve as a demonstration tool for educational, research and economic-development purposes.

The farm will serve as a showcase for Tennessee-made solar products and components, such as panels assembled by Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group, which operates a nearby manufacturing facility in Memphis, and glass produced by AGC Flat Glass, which has a longstanding manufacturing presence in Northeast Tennessee, it was stated, according to a May 13 chattanoogan.com report.

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